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Kristina Kister

Kristina Kister

Kristina Kister Interview

Kristina Kister

Children's Illustrator

Have you always loved to draw?

I have been drawing all my life and couldn't imagine a life without it! I remember being always the artsy child, drawing pictures for everyone. :)

Which books from your own childhood really stand out?

I am from Russia and when we moved to Germany, my neighbour gave me two books. It was a series of different paintings from all kind of artists. One had paintings of fairies and elves in it, the other one had wizards and witches. Although some of those painting were a bit frightening for me as a child, I always loved them and I still do! 

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Describe your working technique and how you came to perfect it.

I learned all the analogue techniques in art school when I was around nine years old. On my 13th birthday, my uncle gifted me my first drawing tablet, a Wacom Volito. It was super small and had an awful pressure sensibility, but I loved it!  This was a key moment, because I have been working mostly digital from then. I experimented with different brushes other artists created and found my favorite ones over the years. I still have my set of 5-6 brushes I use, although I like trying new ones now and then!

Have you ever thought about trying out a different technique or a different style?

I force myself to try out different things now and then, just to get better and expand my abilities. I can get a little bit anxious when I try something new, worrying it might not look good - but that's part of the process. I found my style through trying out new things.

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What do you hope children take away from your drawings?

That you can be everyone you want to be. You are a girl but feel more like a warrior than a princess? Go for it! Or do you like being a princess? That's awesome too. The most important thing is that you are happy and free to feel like yourself. I hope children get motivated to discover different worlds and go on their very own adventure when they see my drawings.

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What makes a good children’s book?

I think a good children's book needs a positive message - you can have struggles and be sad sometimes, because that is life. But everything will be ok in the end, you just need to have trust in yourself. I like it when this is reflected in the story and illustrations equally, so children can relate and understand. A good children's book will accompany you even into adulthood because it had such a big impact on you as a child. 

Animals feature heavily in children’s books – do you have a pet?

I have a little stray dog from Romania. Her name is Mei, and I love her endlessly!

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What would you say is a distinguishing feature of your artwork?

I have a background as a graphic designer - therefore I like strong shapes and colours. Although I work digital mostly, I am a big fan of analogue looking textures, which I try to implement ins my work. I think this might be something worth calling a distinguishing feature. 

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What are some of your favourite subjects to draw?

I love drawing animals! By far my favourite, drawing fur or feathers just feels so calming, haha.

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Are there any children’s classics you’d love to illustrate and/or re-tell?

I would love to illustrate Alice in Wonderland! There are so many interesting characters and environments, I am pretty sure I would have a lot of fun illustrating them.

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